Sister: Political argument led to Milwaukie killing

Melissa Vargas, 53, was shot and killed on SE River Road Sunday night

Melissa Vargas in an undated courtesy photo provided by her family, November 28, 2016
Melissa Vargas in an undated courtesy photo provided by her family, November 28, 2016

OREGON CITY, Ore. (KOIN) — A 53-year-old woman killed in Milwaukie Sunday night had gotten into a political argument with her friend’s ex-husband before he opened fire on her, her sister tells KOIN 6 News.

Bambi Lynn Stilgebouer said her sister Melissa Vargas was cleaning dishes in her friend’s home on SE River Road when she was shot and killed.

Bambi Stilgebouer is the sister of Melissa Vargas, who was shot to death at a Milwaukie home. November 29, 2016 (KOIN)
Bambi Stilgebouer is the sister of Melissa Vargas, who was shot to death at a Milwaukie home. November 29, 2016 (KOIN)

“She was helping a woman who was a dear friend of hers… clean[ed] her house for her birthday, it was a birthday present because she didn’t have money,” Stilgebouer said. “This man whom she had an argument with — the ex-husband of her friend — had been drinking.”

When sheriff’s deputies arrived at the home, 62-year-old Gregory R. Siegberg had already taken off. Not long after, he reportedly flipped his car over a barrier on I-5 NB in Washington. After state troopers pulled him out of the wreckage, he told them he “just killed someone,” police said.

Siegberg was arrested for DUII and felony homicide.

Melissa Vargas, 51, was killed in a Milwaukie shooting Sunday night, November 28, 2016. (Oregon Department of Corrections)
Melissa Vargas, 51, was killed in a Milwaukie shooting Sunday night, November 28, 2016. (Oregon Department of Corrections)

“My sister was a good, loving person,” Stilgebouer said. “She loved her grandchildren, she loved everybody.”

But life wasn’t always easy for Vargas, who was once convicted of rape in Oregon. Stilgebouer said her sister’s then-husband had been molesting her relative, and she was charged for allegedly helping him evade the police.

“People make mistakes,” Stilgebouer said. “She just failed to protect her [relative].”

Stilgebouer said she hopes her sister will be remembered as the kind, loving person she was, and that people show her family sympathy as they grieve her loss.